Barriers or walls are a common sight in our world today, whether itˇ¦s a detour that blocks a road for construction or a high wall or fence to maintain privacy; walls delineate one thing from another. They are in place for support as well as give definition to geographical locations. Walls in the Bible have great significance, the walls of Jericho falling down is a well known bible story which showed the power of God in a remarkable way. Nehemiah returned from Babylon to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; each description and story relates a negative connotation or a positive need for the barriers. This week, I would like to combine the Sunday morning message along with the ˇ§Shepherds Voiceˇ¨ as we speak about barriers/walls that are both good and necessary in our lives or when we need to allow the Spirit of God to break some of these down. As we comment on these things I would like to present three very distinct places in our world that are either natural or constructed by men which represent the topic we are developing. They are as follows:
ˇ§In Australia, The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.ˇ¨
ˇ§The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany that completely enclosed the city of West Berlin, separating it from East Germany, including East Berlin. The Wall included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, and other defenses.ˇ¨
ˇ§The Great Wall of China Chángchéng; literally "long city/fortress") or Wànlǐ Chángchéng; literally "The long wall of 10,000 Li s a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from Xiongnu attacks during various successive dynasties. Since the 5th century BC, several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220ˇV206 BC by the first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall were built during the Ming Dynasty. ˇ§
Each one of these has been placed in their location with a purpose. As we develop these thoughts I would like to turn your attention to Mark 10:13-16 where Jesus is found once again ministering to a multitude, and has encountered the Pharisees and their questions. As we break in at verse 13, people are bringing children to the Lord and the disciples are putting up a barrier preventing the parents most likely, of having the Lord bless them in some way. The reputation and kindness of the Savior was well known, his gentle spirit and obviously his miraculous healings preceded him. My question is; why would the disciples put up this wall of protection? All they were doing was protecting the Lord werenˇ¦t they? The Lord was busy, he was popular among the people but in verse 14 the NIV version states that Christ was indignant with their behavior. Why would the Lord have been indignant? We have to ask ourselves are there sometimes barriers or walls we put up that are unnecessary in our lives. We sometimes have to protect ourselves from external forces that can damage our mind, soul or body; so how do we do that? The scriptures give us a lot of tools and suggestions as to how we can do that. The following are two questions for us to ask today.
1. Do you have unnecessary barriers or walls in your life?
2. What steps will you take to protect yourself from things that can damage you?
Psalm 32: 7
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
By: Davie R. Jones